The Diet Detective: 5 Underrated Weight-Loss Strategies

1. Learn to say NO.

Why?

Resistance skills are critical. The ability to say NO is one of the most important skills you can use as you work to improve your eating and exercise habits. Say no to the food pushers, the diet saboteurs, the fast-food commercials and all those who try to derail your diet. The fact is, people will not always be as supportive as you'd like them to be.

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What You Need to Know

Have your answer ready for those diet saboteurs. Mentally rehearse a few key phrases like, "Oh, no thanks. I couldn't eat another thing." Or try the truth: "I'm trying to eat healthfully, and that piece of cake will throw me completely off track."

Try writing down three typical scenarios you've experienced around family, friends or co-workers where you felt uncomfortable saying no to food.

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The key is to prepare responses to these types of situations so you're ready next time. That way, you'll be armed with an automatic response that rolls off your tongue because you've thought of it ahead of time and it makes sense. If you are prepared, there's a better chance that you will be able to control the outcome.

2. Develop a calorie instinct.

Why?

I know that the "c" word is so pass?. However, calories are a real measure of your food intake. Yes, a calorie is simply a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat. And yes, there are the "right" proteins (i.e., lean), the "right" carbs (whole grains and veggies) and the "right" fats (e.g., unsaturated, omega-3s).

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Your total number of calories gives you an instant clue as to whether or not you have the budget to eat what you're about to eat. Calories also help to keep you accountable.

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